Europe-wide alliance formed to promote wholesale-only

CityFibre, Deutsche Glasfaser, Open Fiber, Reykjavikur and SIRO amongst signatories of alliance which aims to promote wholesale-only model and end the misuse of ‘fibre’ in advertising.

A group of European full fibre operators has joined forces to accelerate the build and uptake of transformational full fibre services across Europe by profiling the benefits of the wholesale-only build model and challenging the misuse of ‘fibre’ in consumer advertising across the continent.

Senior leaders from operators in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Iceland, as well as chief representatives from the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications and the FTTH Council Europe, met in Rome this week (19 July) to discuss the future of the telecoms market and the barriers to deployment and uptake of the next-generation infrastructure.

The resulting alliance will follow the new European Electronic Communications Code, which, through a supportive regulatory regime, positions wholesale-only as the ideal roll-out model of very high capacity networks due to their natural ability to offer access to multiple telecom service providers without bias, discrimination or abuses.

As such, they will work together to ensure the benefits of full fibre deployment and the wholesale-only model are understood by governments, regulators and financial investors, as well as promoting awareness of independent fibre networks to service providers and mobile operators.

It will also actively educate and inform consumers across Europe about what genuine, very high capacity networks are and challenge the misuse of the word “Fibre” in marketing broadband services that are delivered on legacy copper-based networks. This follows the recent ruling by the Council of Communications Regulatory Authority which stipulates that operators and service providers may only use the term ‘fibre’ without further technical specification in the underlying infrastructure consists exclusively of a fibre access network. Italy has already introduced fines for those who break these rules.

Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre, said: “Wholesale only has been at the heart of CityFibre’s strategy from day one. We are leading the rollout of full fibre infrastructure across the UK, deploying modern digital infrastructure to millions of homes and businesses, empowering all service providers, mobile operators and digital innovators. It is the new generation of fibre infrastructure operators that are building FTTH faster, quicker and cheaper than incumbent legacy operators, and CityFibre welcomes collaboration with our alliance partners across Europe”.

Elisabetta Ripa, CEO of Open Fiber, said: “It has been a great pleasure for Open Fiber to host the meeting. The companies gathering in Rome have agreed to create an alliance to share best-practice and to promote the benefits and advantages of the full fiber wholesale-only, which deliver full fibre infrastructure far more efficiently than vertically integrated incumbent operators.”

Sean Atkinson, CEO of SIRO said: “SIRO is leading a digital transformation across Ireland and we are always keen to collaborate with our European counterparts. The EU Digital Agenda is ambitious, and we believe that the new generation of non-incumbent 100% Fibre companies are best placed to help achieve its goals. We are delighted to be part of this new alliance and look forward to presenting a united voice on the importance of FTTH and FTTB is crucial at this important moment for European connectivity.”

Uwe Nickl, CEO of Deutsche Glasfer, “Sharing best practices to speed up deployment and take-up of pure FTTH networks is a crucial factor in achieving the European fiber goals. Together we can really move.”

Erling Freyr Guomundsson, CEO of Reykjavik Fiber Network (Gagnaveita Reykjavikur), said: “It has been our mission to provide Icelandic homes with full fiber to be able to be a part of the smart community worldwide. This new alliance will strengthen Reykjavik Fiber Network in its mission, driving better consumer experience for our customers and our wholesale allies’ customers. We are certain that the wholesale open access business model can drive competition and increase the quality of connections. Iceland is one of the fastest country in the world according to Speedtest.net Global Index, thanks to our one gigabit network that reaches 95% of our customers”.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine